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War and rumours of wars

War and rumours of wars Written by Bill Bradford

War and rumours of wars

As I write, it is ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day is an annual commemoration on the 25th of April, initially of fallen Australian and New Zealand soldiers in World War 1. However, it now is a memorial to all Australians and New Zealanders who have fallen in every war they have fought in.

ANZAC Day began this morning with a sunrise service at War Memorials around the country to coincide with the dawn landing on Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915. This was a military action that would attempt to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies and knock Turkey out of the war. Eight months later and 10,000 Australians dead the expedition was termed a failure. It left a legacy of Australian sacrifice in war. In this case a war that was not in the defence of our own country. In all, Australia lost 100,000 men in World War 1, only 13 years after it became a Federation. The population of Australia in 1915 was under 5 million. It was a significant loss for the county to lose that many of it's finest. Who knows what might have been without this enormous loss?

ANZAC Day doesn't glorify war. It remembers those who have sacrificed so much, but it brings us back to a fact of life. The real cause of war is a part of human psyche. According to Hans J. Morgenthau, 'Politics Among the Nations', it is the ultimate way man chooses to upset the balance of power and gain power himself. Today Russia says it is a defensive issue to bring Ukraine under its control, and the U.S. and Europe sees Russian military action as aggression and an attempt to tip the balance of power in their favour - power they lost 25 years ago. It seems they are on the move again, now that they are in a better financial position.

Jesus, warning of one of the signs approaching the end of the age, mentioned wars and rumours of war. Have you stopped to count the wars lately? You probably can't count all of them. Most of them are internal now. We get alarmed when they are between countries or alliances. There are those who have studied the incidence of wars and it is felt that the war cycle in the world is on the upward trend.

"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:1-2).

At its most fundamental level, someone had to sit down and think things out about war and what was to be gained or lost. War begins when, in the mind of the perpetrator, they can gain or benefit, usually power over others, and thereby become the greatest among their peers. It doesn't matter whether it is among nations, competitors, or neighbours, the goal is the same - to win. Strictly from a human point of view, if you are going to go to war, the object is to win, something our western nations have forgotten. Jesus, himself said as much in Luke 14:31-32.

Jesus, however didn't intend for us to go to war. The final war of this age will be when "the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gather together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army" (Rev. 19:19). This will be the war to end all wars. After this final war, Jesus Christ will ensure peace.

"He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isa 2:4)

"War is hell", says one former ANZAC who was there. What was to be gained is something that exists only in the mind of lustful people. Others are put into the position to defend themselves and others. Let's look for the time when Jesus Christ will judge between the nations, (and individuals, too), and rebuke many people for their thought of war. Meanwhile, let us seek peace!

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  • About the Author

    Bill Bradford

    Bill Bradford

    Bill Bradford is a contributor to United Church of God publications in addition to being the pastor for several United Church of God congregations in Queensland, Australia.

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